Heather was appointed Open Heart Kitchen’s Executive Director in January, 2017. Prior to this role, she served as the Executive Director of Monterey Zoological Society, and co-founded Elephants of Africa Rescue Society where she also served as CFO. She brings over 15 years of experience in Nonprofit Management and utilizes her development experience to drive organizational growth without compromising program quality.
Clare joined Open Heart Kitchen in September 2014. As Operations Director, she oversees the entire day-to-day operations of the organization. Prior to joining Open Heart Kitchen, Gomes spent nearly 10 years managing the food pantry for a local non-profit. She holds a BS in Chemistry, as well as a BS in Holistic Nutrition.
Shawnda joined Open Heart Kitchen in November of 2010 as a Site Supervisor before assuming her current role as Volunteer Coordinator. Whether you are a guest or a volunteer, Bost has a passion for helping people find their “fit” in the Open Heart Kitchen family. Under her leadership, Open Heart Kitchen’s volunteer base has grown to one of the largest volunteer networks in the Tri-Valley. Prior to joining Open Heart Kitchen, Bost served more than 15 years in customer service and logistics.
Program Coordinator & Bookkeeper
Taylor joined the team in October, 2017. She assists with accounting, fundraising, outreach events, establishing partnerships with other organizations, social media content creation, and marketing.
Matt is the driving force behind our Bag Lunch Program, managing volunteers in the creation and distribution of over 2,500 bags weekly. In addition to that, he delivers meals to our senior lunch sites, and performs administrative work.
Gunilla was born and raised in Sweden, and moved to the Bay Area in 1994. Gunilla brings over 15 years of experience as a pastry chef and baker. She started as a volunteer at Open Heart Kitchen, and officially joined our team as chef in January, 2015.
Lisa joined Open Heart Kitchen in November of 2014, as a Production Chef and Site Supervisor after volunteering in our kitchen. She graduated with High Honors from The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of San Francisco with an Associates Degree in Baking and Pastry. As much as she loves cooking, she says that she loves the interaction with her volunteers even more.
Evelyn moved to California from Chicago in 2005, and joined the Open Heart Kitchen family that same year. The things that Evelyn enjoys most about working for Open Heart Kitchen is the sense of fullfillment and purpose that it gives her, as well as working with Open Heart's volunteers and staff.
Christi has been with Open Heart Kitchen since 2015. Christi worked in customer support before becoming a stay at home mom to her 3 children. Through her position at Open Heart Kitchen she encourages her own children to volunteer in the kitchens and learn the importance of giving back to the community.
Becki grew up in England and lived in Australia for a number of years. Lucky for us, she moved to California in 2016 and started volunteering in our kitchen and eventually joined our team as a Site Supervisor. In addition to working for Open Heart Kitchen, Becki also works for the Valley Humane Society where she follows her deep passion for helping animals.
Linda joined Open Heart Kitchen as a Site Supervisor in July, 2017. Volunteering at the Pleasanton Senior Center and working with her fellow volunteers sparked her interest in joining our team. Prior to coming to OHK, Linda worked in tech in Silicon Valley, but realized her real passion was working with food and interacting with people.
Steve is a proud Dublin resident who spent nearly 30 years of commuting into Silicon Valley where he worked for the San Jose Mercury News as a reporter, deputy managing editor and editorial page editor. Instead of retirement, Steve yearned for “refirement": something less career-driven and more service oriented.This passion lead him to Open Heart Kitchen.
Peter started with Open Heart Kitchen in high school as a volunteer at our Ridgeview Commons Senior site. He joined Open Heart Kitchen’s staff in October, 2017 as the site supervisor for our St. Bartholomew’s site. Peter enjoys working with new volunteers and getting to know them.
Liz built a career in Silicon Valley, but always held a passion for cooking, baking, and helping people. She enrolled in the culinary program at DVC, which led her to begin volunteering regularly at Open Heart Kitchen in 2017. By the time she joined our team in 2018, she already knew our kitchen like the back of her hand!